Rod Stewart appeared in federal court Tuesday, saying he was there to “defend my honor” in a breach of contract lawsuit filed by a Las Vegas resort.
The Rio hotel-casino, which is owned by gambling giant Harrah’s Entertainment, filed suit after the British rocker canceled a 2000 concert while recuperating from thyroid surgery.
The company is seeking the return of $2 million paid to Stewart for the show, plus interest and attorney’s fees.
“We don’t hold his illness against him,” Rio lawyer Stephen Morris said during opening statements. “We only wish to hold him to his contract, which says if he is ill or incapacitated and can’t perform, he will return the $2 million.”
Stewart’s lawyer told reporters the singer has been willing to reschedule and has offered to perform two shows for the price of one.
“He is able and willing to do these concerts for them,” said lawyer Louis “Skip” Miller, adding the 60-year-old singer has performed over 200 concerts since the May 2000 surgery that removed two tumors from his thyroid. One was malignant, Miller said.
“It took him about 10 to 12 months to get his voice back,” Miller said.
Morris said they had been willing to discuss another Stewart show, but wanted the singer first to return the $2 million. When Stewart declined, the company moved forward with the lawsuit.